Preston North End and Brentford to lock horns again next season but at a different venue
Farewell Fulham, see you again next season Brentford.
The Championship finally ended on Tuesday night with Fulham beating Brentford at an empty Wembley.
With Wigan’s appeal against a 12-point deduction having failed a few hours before the final – a decision which confirmed their relegation – everything is now decided ahead of the 2020/21 season.
Brentford had looked to be in the driving seat to clinch the final promotion place, however Fulham had other ideas.
The Bees were the most pleasing-on-the-eye side in the division all season, their three-pronged frontline having scored for fun.
However, they ran out of steam by the end and are now facing a seventh successive season in the Championship.
Fulham stifled their West London rivals’ attacking play and were deserved winners on the night.
Brentford had not been in great form in the last few games of the season.
They had won eight on the bounce until mid-July, their 1-0 win over PNE at Griffin Park the eighth of those.
The Bees scored early that night but never looked like they would push on and tear North End to pieces.
The victory over Alex Neil’s men opened the door for automatic promotion but they lost their last two games to finish third.
They were beaten 1-0 by Swansea in the first leg of the play-off semi-final but roared back to win the second leg 3-1.
The 2020/21 campaign will be the ninth season out of the last 10 that PNE and Brentford will have been in the same division.
Only in 2014/15 were they apart, the Bees having won promotion from League One a year before North End did.
There will be a new ground for Preston to play at when they face Brentford next season. They are in the process of moving to a new 17,000-capacity ground, having decided they had to leave Griffin Park in order to grow.
With North End’s record there in the last couple of decades a pretty rotten one, hopefully a change of venue can lead to better.
As for Fulham going up, it means a popular away day for Preston fans having a red line drawn through it.
February’s visit to Craven Cottage was the last time the travelling PNE faithful were allowed into an away game.
How long it will be before they can travel again is a question no one can answer.